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Chris Crawford on Game Design by Chris Crawford

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Initial Programming

Convinced that I really could get a wargame running, I set to work writing the program. This was 1976; all I had to work with was the IBM 1130 at the school where I was teaching physics. It had, I believe, 8K of memory and a hard disk with virtual memory. After hours I would insert my hard disk cartridge, fire up the computer, and go to work on the program. It was written in FORTRAN, an old computer language used for scientific calculations. All input and output were made through a Selectric typewriter. The computer would type a line of text specifying the situation, and then I would type a string of characters specifying my move. No graphics, no sound, no nothing: just a typewriter. I had a mapboard next to the computer console ...

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